Canadian Security Magazine

Alberta Mountie accused of accessing police records for ‘foreign actor’

The Canadian Press   

News Canada cyber security data breach

The RCMP logo is seen in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, March 16, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck.

By Lauren Krugel in Calgary

A front-line Alberta Mountie has been accused of accessing police record systems to help a “foreign actor,” RCMP said Tuesday.

The officer was arrested Saturday and the alleged breach involved records that were not top secret, the RCMP Federal Policing Integrated National Security Enforcement Team said in a news release.

“Upon learning of the security breach, the RCMP implemented measures to monitor, mitigate and manage any further unauthorized disclosures and ensure maintenance of public safety as the investigation unfolded,” police said.

The release did not provide details on the duties of the suspect, the type of information accessed or the name of the foreign actor.

“The RCMP is committed to combating foreign actor interference at all levels and is actively leveraging all tools at its disposal. Foreign interference takes on many forms and it is critical that all organizations are aware of the potential harm at any levels,” police said in the statement.

“The RCMP will pursue any form of interference, whether internal or external, and this is a good example of the efforts being made.”

Const. Eli Ndatuje has been charged under the Criminal Code with breach of trust, unauthorized use of a computer and breach of trust in respect to safeguarded information.

A first court appearance is scheduled in Calgary provincial court for March 11.

There have been other recent high-profile cases involving information breaches.

A former RCMP intelligence official was sentenced last week to 14 years in prison for violating Canada’s secrets law.

In November, a jury found Cameron Jay Ortis guilty of three counts of violating the Security of Information Act and one count of attempting to do so. The jury also found Ortis guilty of breach of trust and fraudulent use of a computer system.

Ortis led an RCMP group that assembled classified information on cybercriminals, terror cells and transnational criminal networks.

He pleaded not guilty in court to all charges, including breaking the secrets law by revealing classified information to three individuals of interest to police in 2015 and trying to do so in a fourth instance.

In January, a 911 operator in Calgary was accused of intentionally pulling data from searches on individuals involved in organized crime then providing the information to others involved in that activity.

Mariana Buonincontri, 58, was charged with breach of trust, fraudulent use of a computer system and mischief related to computer data. She is to appear in court next month.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 13, 2024.

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